Sydney City introduces energy efficiency and renewable energy targets for major new DAs

The City of Sydney’s new planning controls will combine energy efficiency and the use of onsite and offsite renewables to move buildings towards net zero energy use.

Sydney city

In an Australian-first, the City of Sydney will incorporate energy efficiency and renewable energy targets in development applications – ensuring buildings are part of the transition to net-zero emissions.

Last night City of Sydney Council unanimously endorsed controls that require applications for new office buildings, hotels and shopping centres and major redevelopments to comply with minimum energy ratings from January 2023 and achieve net-zero energy use from 2026.

The measures are expected to save more than $1.3 billion on energy bills for investors, businesses and occupants from 2023 to 2040, and help the City of Sydney meet its target of net-zero emissions by 2035.

“These new controls, four years in the making, require developers to reduce emissions through increased energy efficiency, on-site renewable energy production and offsite renewable energy procurement. They are ambitious but achievable and provide a clear pathway for developers to improve energy performance and transition to net zero buildings," Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

Including the option to use off site renewable energy purchases is another first for local planning controls in Australia.

The amendments provide more clarity for developers in the structure and operation of the controls, particularly for projects involving the refurbishment of existing buildings. The amendments also make it easier for existing buildings to demonstrate how they are moving towards net-zero emissions.

Development of the controls received national and state awards from the Planning Institute of Australia as well as from Local Government NSW and the Greater Cities Commission.

Six major developers, including Stockland, Frasers, Lendlease, Crown Group, Dexus and Mirvac, wrote to the City of Sydney supporting the proposed development standards.

The new performance standards address requirements in the Greater Sydney region plan and respond to local, state and industry goals, including the NSW net zero plan and electricity strategy, district plans to reduce carbon emissions and sustainability actions in local planning.

Further details of the of the changes can be found on the City of Sydney’s website here.

Energy Industry Partners


Events, grants, news, resources and project announcements. Stay informed via our newsletters.